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Monday, March 25, 2013

My History with Food and Exercise

Warning: Long post ahead. But when has history ever been brief?

As a kid, I wasn't fat. I was bigger than the other girls in my class, sure, but it wasn't just weight. I was a head or two taller than everyone in my grade and the grade above me until around 6th grade.
I stuck out in more ways than one.

My "under-eating" started in the summer of 1994 when I went away to tennis camp. You can read about that here.

But when I went off to college, I didn't gain that "Freshman 15". I lost 15 pounds due to not eating enough and constantly being out and on the go.

By the time I was in my early 20's, I weighed anywhere between 130-135. But I was "flabby thin". I didn't workout. I was just ALWAYS out. And my diet was terrible. For the most part, I subsisted on Taco Bell, Sonic, and McDonald's. I would have looked healthier if I was more trim and toned.

I wore a size 29/size 6 jeans for years. I wore tank tops as a uniform and some of them showed a little belly. But then all of that changed when I moved to MN.

For the first few years, my husband and I were really inactive. And we had the "nummie box".  
Before I moved here, I sent a small UHAUL box to my husband and the kids for Valentine's Day. It was filled with candy and a stuffed pig that sang. The box weighed 21 pounds. And we still have it. (It was even featured at our wedding. Our baker made a grooms cake in its likeness. I will post pics of this soon.) It's still full of candy, not the same candy, and we SOMETIMES eat from it. I find that I don't want to eat as much candy anymore.

We sat on the couch, watched our shows, and ate candy. And I don't even want to think of the amount of fast food we ate back then. But even then, I wasn't eating enough after awhile. There were days were I ate once. Once. Just one meal. And it was usually in the evening and it was always fast food.

See, if you start eating less food, for a little while, your body will start to feed on stored fat and you'll lose weight. But when you don't eat enough for long periods of time, your body goes into "storage mode" and you start to gain weight...quickly. That's what happened to me.

I wasn't eating enough and I NEVER worked out and all of a sudden, those size 29's didn't fit. And then the 30's didn't fit, followed by the 31's. When I finally hit the size 32's, I knew I had to do something about it.

Christmas-2010: I was getting in the shower and looked into the mirror after I got undressed. I was astounded, disgusted, and furious with myself. I had never been that big before.
My mother asked me when I called her crying, "how could you not have seen it before then"? To which I replied, "Mom, women don't typically like to look at themselves naked. Men like to look at naked women".

I knew I couldn't keep doing the same old thing and see any positive changes. We were out of town for a week after that and it then that I decided to buy an elliptical machine and use it.

In January 2011, I started working out and counting calories to make sure that I ate enough. I worked out for a week before weighing myself the first time so I figure I lost a pound or two more than what I tell people. On January 16, 2011, I weighed 182.4 pounds.

By June 2011, I weight 160 pounds. I was SO happy. We left for vacation and I was almost into the 150's, finally. And then it all fell apart.

We were gone a lot that summer and when traveling, I lose the will and determination to workout. By August that year, I was still around 160 but I wasn't working out. And then we started renovating our house. Oy. Who needs a workout when you are ripping up carpet and subfloor, ripping out a bathroom, destroying a kitchen, and spending up to 12 hours a day doing construction?

It took us a few weeks to get it all done and when it was over, we were exhausted. The kids went back to school and we did nothing. And I mean nothing. I think we slept for a few days and then vegged on the couch for a week. And I never got back into working out.

Fast forward to this past Christmas, 2013. Here we go again. ALL of the weight I shed managed to find me, after I thought for sure I had lost it.

So, on January 16 of this year, 2 years after the initial weight loss, I began to head down to the basement and workout. This time, it WILL stick. I hope.

I only had free weights the first time back in 2011. This time, I invested in a weight machine and it's been worth every penny. My arms are already gaining SO much muscle. And since I was getting beyond bored with the elliptical (cardio is not even close to being something I enjoy) I purchased a rowing machine. I love that thing.

It's been 2 months and I am down a little over 10 pounds. The scale says that not only have I been losing weight, I have been gaining muscle. Our scale also shows your BMI, bone mass, and water levels. I can happily say that the BMI is going down while the water and bone levels are going up.

So now you know how I got here, wandering down the Rocky Road to Healthy again.

What about you? Have you ever struggled with your weight? Have you ever plunged into an exercise program? Tell me about it.

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